Boozy Britons! How we down 108 bottles of wine each a year
BRITONS drink more alcohol and are more likely to be obese than people in other rich nations, a report revealed last night.
The UK consumes 9.7 litres of pure alcohol per adult a year, nearly a litre more than the average 8.9 litres for the 36 countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
That is the equivalent per adult of 108 bottles of wine or 427 pints of beer.
Although alcohol consumption in the UK has come down from 11.1 litres a decade ago, we still drink more than countries such as Australia, the US, New Zealand, Spain and Italy.
We drink less, however, than France’s 11.7 litres a year and Germany’s 10.9 litres, says the report, which is based on alcohol sales.
The OECD report Health At A
Glance, which examines health trends and healthcare systems across member states, also highlights obesity rates in the UK – 64 per cent of adults are overweight or obese, compared with an OECD average of 56 per cent. While smoking rates are below average ‘many British people lead unhealthy lifestyles’, the report said.
Experts last night blamed a British culture which still centres on alcohol. Dr Richard Piper, chief executive of Alcohol Change UK, said: ‘Our drinking habits are causing more and more harm.
‘Hospital admissions related to alcohol and alcohol-related deaths are both on the rise. Alcohol is everywhere: at work events, at home when we’re trying to relax, there when we celebrate, there when we’re trying to cope. It’s easy for us to fall into habits of drinking more than we know is good for us – often more than we really want to.’
Dr Tony Rao, of the Addictions Faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists added: ‘It is alarming that we are not addressing the harm being caused by alcohol, especially in older drinkers.’
Richard Fernandez, head of policy at the Institute of Alcohol Studies, said: ‘It’s time for the Government to take this seriously, with a strategy that includes minimum unit pricing.’
But the industry-funded Alcohol Information Partnership said: ‘The amount of alcohol people drink in the UK has been falling for more than a decade – people are leading more balanced lifestyles, especially among younger generations.’